rating: I guess R, because it refers to sex, briefly, but it is more general than that
disclaimer: Duffy didn't give me permission to write about them, but today I just HAD to.
note: definition of saint from www.dictionary.com
1. Abbr. St. or S. (Christianity). A person officially recognized, especially by canonization, as being entitled to public veneration and capable of interceding for people on earth.
2. An extremely virtuous person.
Murphy has to laugh sometimes, when he looks around and sees the way the Americans have twisted St. Patty’s Day to their own gluttonous pleasure. In Ireland, this is a day of worship, tradition and holy honor. It is a day to recognize and pay tribute to the most holy of patron saints. In America, it’s a day to drink, wear green, and generally make a horse’s arse out of yourself. Not that any of those things offend Murphy in any way…it’s just amusing to him. He’s done them all more than once, just not on one specific day of the year.
They go to mass early in the morning, because that’s what they’re supposed to do. It’s burned onto their souls, as much a part of them as their thick accents, thicker heads and strict code of what is right and wrong. You get up in the morning of March 17, and you go to church. Amen.
Connor’s head is bent, and his fingers rub over the smooth wood of his beads. Murphy’s head is bent as well, but he’s not praying. He’s watching Connor out of the corner of his eye, watching those soft, cracked lips repeat the words they’ve known since they knew how to talk. Church is something special for Murphy. It soothes his soul, quiets his mind. It makes him believe that maybe everything is done for a reason, everything happens to get them somewhere else.
To him, Connor is already there. The morning sun filters through the prism of the stained glass windows, touching the light brown hair next to him, casting a halo-like glaze over his brother’s bent head. His brother is glory and light, beauty and passion. He is the reason Murphy thanks God every morning and every night, though he knows deep down that in the eyes of the church in which they're standing, his grateful prayers would be considered blasphemy.
He thinks nothing of blasphemy, though, while they kneel and pray. He thinks only of how lucky he is that God chose him to be the brother, lover and life partner to the man next to him. He thinks how gracious the holy Lord has been, sending him to watch over the avenging angel at his side. He continues to send silent prayers of thanks even as they walk up, kiss the smooth wooden feet of Jesus, and continue out of the church.
Even later, as they commit the most grievous sin, the one that would probably turn the heads of all the saints above, he cannot feel as if he is doing wrong. Connor’s face, his skin, the silk of his body as he slides inside, it touches Murphy like the feather-light blessing of a priest during baptism. He is holy. He is forgiven. He is loved.